Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare Margaretha is a team leader with our Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare (FFT-CW) program based on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
Having previously worked at Berry Street, Margaretha joined the OzChild team in November 2016 and loves the fact that no day is ever the same.
“I supervise and lead an amazing group of therapists who do great work with vulnerable families in our region. I also see families and it is challenging and rewarding work to support families to be the best they can be.
Margaretha’s role means she must be available to see families at a time and place that suits them, often conflicting with time her own kids might need her, a sacrifice she finds challenging at times as she misses out on family time.
With a daughter and three sons aged between eight and four life is pretty hectic for Margaretha and her husband.
Passionate about social justice and child welfare, Margaretha believes it is a human right that all Australians should have access to good supports regardless of where they live, how they live or what their background might be.
“I am also very passionate about the great work we do at OzChild. I believe the work we do, particularly in FFT-CW, keeps more families together safely and healthily.”
In their spare time the family enjoy heading to the beach, playground or even just a walk through the beautiful Australian nature, trying to spot some wallabies or kangaroos. Margaretha is also an avid reader. “My husband says my taste in books is ‘the bloodier, the better’. I like watching documentaries and the occasional movie, when I have the time.”
Margaretha credits her late mother for giving her the courage to “spread my wings and settle on the other side of the world. My mother, who passed away in 2007, has always been my biggest inspiration,” says Margaretha.
“She always had my back but would also tell me if I wasn’t on the right track. She showed me from early on in life, without having to say it, that when a door closes, find a window or build one!”
“My journey to Australia began when I was 22. I immigrated by myself without knowing anyone, firstly to New Zealand from the Netherlands when I was fresh out of university. I left behind everything and everyone I knew behind. My English wasn’t the best, but I worked hard on the language and accent.
After seven years in New Zealand Margaretha moved to Australia. That was 11 years ago now. “Both were major decisions and very scary at the time, but both were totally worth all the sacrifices.”
Speaking from her own experiences, Margaretha wishes young people would allow themselves time to discover who they truly are and what they care most about. “Be yourself, there’s already so many others.”